Tom: Dave, you know we go to a lot of prophecy conferences—you speak at a lot, I speak at a few—and we just had one recently here in Bend. We dealt with Islam, certainly Judgment Day: Israel, Islam, and the Nations. And, in our Q&A session—well, we had close to 700 people at the conference, and the Q&A questions must have been 2-1/2 inches thick, 3x5 cards, and I’d say a good third of them had to do with the Antichrist. That’s a hang-up for people wherever we go. Now, I’d like you to address these things: number one, this question, What about the Mahdi of Islam? and number two, Should we be that concerned about who the Antichrist is, or the issues related to the Antichrist?
Dave: Let me take number two first. You could just put it bluntly like this: If you’re trying to research who the Antichrist might be, you’re wasting your time. Because 2 Thessalonians 2 says you know what prevents him from being revealed “in his time.” So there is a time when the Antichrist will be revealed. He cannot be revealed before then. So you’re wasting your time, and so many books are written—and I’ve had so many people say, “Well, you think it’s Prince Philip of Spain? You think it’s Prince Charles of England?” On and on you can go.
Tom: Henry Kissinger, he a…he was one…
Dave: Yeah, because his went out to 666, his letters in his [name]…
Tom: Well, plus he was Jewish.
Dave: And so forth. Tom, does this Mahdi have any role to play? No, certainly the Mahdi is not the Antichrist, but the role that he would have to play would be that he sets people up. If you believe in the Mahdi, people say, well how are you going to get the Muslims in on this? Well, there you are! They believe in a Mahdi who is coming, and supposedly he’s on this earth now, he’s been on this earth for a couple thousand, two or three thousand years. He disappeared way back there.
Tom: Well, you remember our introduction of late was through Benjamin Creme. You know, he said, “Well, he’s living somewhere in the slums of London.”
Dave: He caused a big flurry, but that died out. But you have this belief that is in the back of people’s minds, and when he comes, the Antichrist, you can fit him into anything. Whatever you were thinking, well he fits it. So, it will play a role in the deception in the last days, I believe, just from that standpoint.
Tom: Dave, could you say that we believe in the Rapture? We believe the Antichrist will be revealed after the Rapture. So, those who are true believers in Christ, who really know Christ, why would they get caught up—that was my point earlier—why would they get caught up in this? We’re not going to be here, let alone, as you pointed out, we can’t figure it out, but we’re not going to be around to even know.
Dave: Well, Tom, why do people get hooked on all kinds of funny ideas? Believe in some power that’s very intriguing. I’ve seen, again, people who got involved in even speaking about the occult, who were not really spiritually mature enough, and they got sucked into it themselves. It’s titillating, and they got so into this—researching and so forth can be very dangerous. So, “Wow! Antichrist! Now if I could figure out who the Antichrist is…Wow, I would become famous!” Well, you’re wasting your time. If you knew the Bible, he cannot be revealed except in his time.
And my personal belief, Tom, as you know, nothing could catapult the Antichrist into power, nothing could unite the world behind a man, except the Rapture, with a hundred million, I don’t know how many, suddenly vanished—out of taxis, out of airplanes and in the desk next to somebody, you know, and out of elevators, and so forth. That’s terrifying! The world will be be terrified, and I believe it’s right at that moment. It has become popular in prophecy circles now among evangelicals: “Well, it could be a delay of a month or maybe even years, maybe even 20 years or more between the Rapture and the revelation of the Antichrist.” Now how are you going to reveal the Antichrist, and how are you going to get this man to become the world leader and the whole world unites behind him. What traumatic experience—what is going to bring this about? “Well, he’s just a magnificent personality, so charismatic that he’s going to arise.” Well, then why does it take so long? Why doesn’t he arise right away?
No, it is the Rapture that will catapult him into power. I believe Satan always has a man, I think Hitler came very close, I think one of the chapters in one of my books, Peace, Prosperity and the Coming Holocaust, was titled “Hitler, the Almost Antichrist.” Satan doesn’t know when the Rapture will occur. He has to have someone ready that he’s been preparing to step in right at that moment. Who that person might be, I don’t think that person himself knows. He will only know when Satan, I believe, will take possession of him—not just demonic possession. This is Satan himself, the head of all the demons. And he will manifest himself though this man in amazing powers, all the powers of evil. And it’s very clear, Satan tempted Jesus, remember: “You bow down, I’ll give you all these kingdoms.” The Antichrist will yield to that temptation, and he will become the world ruler. And Revelation 13 says, “It is the dragon who gives him his seat, [that is, his authority], and his power, and that is what is going to happen after the Rapture.